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to Dental Practice Solutions

Welcome to dentistry’s largest dental hygiene practice management resource center! We are the leading dental hygiene consultant/coaching business.

We will increase your TOTAL dental practice profitability without working more hours or days each year.

- Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS, Speaker, Author. Dental Hygiene Coach & Consultant

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The Dental Hygienists’ Role in Patients’ Treatment Plan

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

April 6, 2017

Hygienists Role in Treatment Planning

Hygienists Role in Treatment Planning

                                                                                   Video & Blog Explains Hygienists’ Role

During the hygiene appointment, it is valuable for the hygienist to discuss what they see in the patient’s mouth.

The blog today is about a topic we are asked about often and it will support the Dental Hygienist’s role in patients’ treatment plan.

Time Management Formula

Time Management Formula

In Diagram A you will see our Time Management Formula which outlines where the hygienist should be during the hygiene appointment. This time management formula helps hygienist to find time to discuss what is seen in the patient’s.

The first part of every hygiene appointment will be the data collection. This will include not only the review of medical history but the perio exam, oral cancer exam, radiographs when necessary, a smile evaluation, visual exam, intra-oral photos.

After you collect all the important patient information you will sit the patient upright and knee-to-knee-eye-to-eye to now create a partnership with your patient to show them what you see. Now you are in the Treatment Planning phase of the hygiene patient appointment.

Please note: this time management formula is only a suggestion of time and if you have less than sixty minutes of time with your patient you will adjust the time formula so it meets your schedule. This is an example of time for the sixty minute hygiene appointment.

During this time with your patient you will show them what you see on their perio chart, radiographs and/or intra-oral photos. Let your patients be a part of what you see. Ask them to show you what they see after you show them. Say words like “bleeding, infection, large black area is tooth decay moving very close to the nerve which can cause you a toothache.”

Your patient is possibly hearing this information for the 1st time and all these words are new to their oral condition. It can feel overwhelming for your patient to hear all this information, so break it down into words you believe they will understand.

This means that you will not say words like “Periodontal Treatment” but instead you will say “Gum Treatment.” You do not want to say, “Deep Cleaning” because when a patient has gum disease (AKA: Periodontal Disease) this is not treated with a cleaning but with a special “gum treatment” or “gum therapy.” It also down-plays what is actually happening in their mouth. A periodontal patient is not going to get a cleaning.

Once the doctor enters to do the exam it is the hygienists’ role to connect them with the patient and guide them through what has occurred during the appointment.

The connection is an update your patient; a personal aspect of their life. This is rapport building. It doesn’t need to take but a minute for doctor to be reconnected with a routine patient.

With the hygienist’s guidance, when talking with doctor in front of the patient and doctor, the patient will hear the same words used to describe the patient’s oral condition.

Then when dismissing the patient, the hygienist will again explain to the front desk what was completed, what the patient needs to schedule for (if not scheduled in hygiene room) and the valuable “reason the patient will return.”

Now your patient has heard this topic of discussion, these words which describe their oral condition, at least 3 times and they are beginning to be more familiar plus have a deeper understanding of what is happening in their mouth. They are now understanding why it is important to return sooner than later.

This system is part of what we teach our clients (Our doctors and their team) which is helping to “close the back door.” This is what helps keep our client schedules full and productivity high.

  • Do you know what percentage of your treatment plans come from the hygienist showing the patient hat is happening in their mouth?
  • Do you know the specific words to use that will add a lot of value for your patients to schedule, pay and return to your office?

This is what we spend a lot of time working on with our clients.

Let us know how we can support your team and get you to that next level of success.

Contact Vanessa our VP of Client Relations to discover what your true potential is for 2017. Email: mail://vanessa@dentalpracticesolutions.com or O: 949-351-8741

We also have live CE Events that may help support your team to get to the next level.

See our events page: www.events.dentalpracticesolutions.com

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS One of Dentistry Today's Top Consultants

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS One of Dentistry Today’s Top Consultants

About Debbie

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS is an international dental consultant, coach, speaker and author. She is also CEO of Dental Hygiene Solutions, powered by Dental Practice Solutions. Debbie is a world-class leader in creating highly profitable hygiene departments. She is a well-known former clinical assistant professor at USC in Los Angeles and a former hygiene department program director. Dentistry Today recognizes Debbie as a Leader in Dental Consulting for the past 12 yrs.  No Cost Hygiene Dept Training Video Series. Grab it here Now. REGISTER FOR TRAINING

Dental Appointments. Your Patient’s Reason to Return

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

March 29, 2017

Dental Patients Reason to Return

Treatment Planning

How do you know what is valuable to your patient?

What is the benefit to your patient if they complete their dental treatment or return for their dental hygiene appointment routinely?

What is your patient’s reason to return?

Let’s think about when you will learn what is valuable to your patient.

When will you know what is valuable to your patient?

For new patients you will (or should) discover what is valuable to them during that first phone call to your office.

It is important to listen closely to the words your patient is saying and the way they say what they are saying. Do they speak loud or soft? Do they speak fast or slow? What is their tone as they speak?

Do they say things like, “Money is going to be my reason for completing this treatment I know I need.”

BTW: This is a comment from a walk-in new patient for an office (a client office) I was working with today.

Most of the time your patient will make their decision based on their value around time or money. These are the two main factors that come into play when patients are making a decision and it is your job to overcome these objections before they even are a stated objection.

Why many patients will not return to a dental office is due to fear of anxiety from a previous bad dental experience. This is another topic of conversation.

Patient Discovery 

When is the best time to discover what is valuable to your patient?

Answer: The first 2 minutes will be the most valuable time with building rapport and understanding your patients’ needs, what’s important to them and even how their day is going (ex: If they are rushed for time or having a stressful day!).

In fact, the first “Hello” and a handshake can tell you a lot about what kind of day your patient is having. This is where you can first begin to build (or re-establish) rapport.

This conversation can be as simple as “What are you doing this summer?”

If you were to ask me this question, I will tell you that I am going to an important high school reunion.

The topic of my conversation (If I am your patient today) will center around meeting up with old friends and wanting to look my best!

Now, it’s your turn as the clinician to open the door for me to look my best.

Do you have a special laser whitening offer going on?

YES?! 

Now is a great time to ask “Debbie, if there is one thing that we can do to make you look better than ever for you high school reunion, what would that be?”

Great question! And if I am your patient here is what I will tell you:

“I would love to have my teeth look youthful again. I want them whiter and also longer.”

Does your office have a special smile makeover process?

If so, now is a great time to talk about this process and how it can make me look my best for the summer high school reunion.

Complete the scheduled appointment, do an “initial” smile evaluation and then have me back for a 20 minute consultation later this week. At this consultation appointment you will have your treatment (or financial) coordinator discuss the smile makeover and work out the financial arrangements. Now you will schedule the treatment.

This special consult adds value to your patient appointment. The initial patient value you discovered is why this patient wants to return ASAP for the consultation and find out more information about how you can help her meet her needs.

Do you see how simple that can be to have your patient understand “their” important reason to return to your office?

When you think back to the last day of patients in your dental office, can you think about each patient’s personal reason to return to your office?

This is not a reason around what you “found” in their mouth. This important reason to return has to be a reason important to your patient. This is a value to your patient.

In closing today I want to ask you, “Do you know each patient’s important reason to return?”

We teach this system with our clients, their team and it becomes a part of every patient appointment. This is what we call the R2R and it becomes a part of each patients record.

One of Dentistry Today's top dental consultants

Debbie Seidel- Bittke, RDH, BS Dental Hygiene Consultant

           About Debbie

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS is an international dental consultant, coach, speaker and author. She is also CEO of Dental Hygiene Solutions, powered by Dental Practice Solutions. Debbie is a world-class leader in creating highly profitable hygiene departments. She is a well-known former clinical assistant professor at USC in Los Angeles and a former hygiene department program director. Dentistry Today recognizes Debbie as a Leader in Dental Consulting for the past 12 yrs.

 

Case Acceptance: Reason to Return

By: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS

March 22, 2017

Case Acceptance

Case Acceptance

CLICK LINK TO WATCH VIDEO

What factors help you decide to buy a certain car?

What criteria helped you decide to buy your last washer and dryer?

And why do you buy your groceries where you do?

Think about this and when you last provided a diagnosis for dental implants or even something as simple as tooth whitening?

How did you present treatment diagnosed to your patient?

Did you tell your patient how cool it is that you can easily screw in the implant or did you explain about the high-tech NASA Technology and these Implants are made of titanium and should last the rest of your life if cared for properly?
Did you tell them the implants are inexpensive?

I highly doubt it!

Your patients are making their decision on the expected result and how this will benefit them.

So, they are not buying a washing machine based on how well it is designed but how well it works to clean their clothes, how it functions and it is possibly all that plus the cost to buy it.

Your patients reason to pay, schedule and return for treatment and routine appointments is the same as why the shop at a specific grocery store and why they decided to buy their car, etc.

Here are some tips to Keep Your Schedule Full:

  1. Create a partnership with your patient
    • Help your patient to own their oral condition
    • Show your patients what you see
  • Show your patients what their oral condition is
  • Show your patient what their condition can look like when they choose your care
  • Show them any treatment you have completed in their mouth

“Remember when you had that open space and food was getting trapped there? Look how beautiful it is now? And you don’t have that terrible feeling of food stuck between your teeth anymore, do you? We can do the same thing in your mouth over here.”

  1. We suggest to our clients (Dentists and their team) that if a treatment plan is X dollars or more (Typically $2,000) the patient will return for a special consultation with the office treatment coordinator.
  • This is a separate appointment with someone in your office who can review the value and benefits of why the patient needs to schedule this appointment and keep in mind what is specifically valuable to the patient
    • This is someone on your team who is comfortable talking about dental treatment. They are
    • Someone who is not afraid to talk about how much something costs – ex: comfortable talking about money
  1. Always remember to show-off your beautiful dentistry
  • Take before and after photos
    • Place these photos on the walls of your office
    • Place a photo album of your patients before and after photos on a coffee table in your reception area
    • Be sure your team is comfortable bragging—complimenting doctors amazing clinical skills and the patients’ outcome!
    • Create Your Own “Wall-of-Fame!”

When working with our clients and inside our member-site called “Hygiene Empowerment, we teach you more about Case Acceptance and how you can keep your back door closed!

One of Dentistry Today's top dental consultants

Debbie Seidel- Bittke, RDH, BS Dental Hygiene Consultant

ABOUT DEBBIE SEIDEL-BITTKE

Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS is an international dental consultant, coach, speaker and author. She is also CEO of Dental Hygiene Solutions, powered by Dental Practice Solutions. Debbie is a world-class leader in creating highly profitable hygiene departments. She is a well-known former clinical assistant professor at USC in Los Angeles and a former hygiene department program director. Dentistry Today recognizes Debbie as a Leader in Dental Consulting for the past 12 yrs.